Storing Glycogen When Asleep

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desire10
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Klc made a reference to this a while back, so if your reading this mate I'd like some insight! If anybody else has any advice, please do post!

I'm only half-convinced on the carb's before bed myth (storing it as fat directly), and from experimentation I'm still not convinced. I'm not overly concerned on a LITTLE fat gain tbh, other then a little bit of visceral (I'm like Kolo Toure when it comes to my stomach, if you saw my gut you would say "THAT"S what your worried about!?").

But the question is: Can eating carb's before (within an hour generally) result in storing glycogen faster? Because I train very early in the mornings, and need all the carb's I can get.

Thanks!
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klc123
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There is a lot of myths and ideas about this topic. If I'm 100% honest, I don't think anyone has found any conclusive evidence one way or the other.

The myth is that it will get stored as body fat. The only reason carbs will be converted into fat for storage is when you have consumed a lot more than you have burned. It doesn't matter if you do this before going to sleep or not.

However, there is some scientific theory that supports the idea of it being stored as glycogen. When your body has an influx of glucose (caused by consuming carbohydrates) your body releases insulin. This increases metabolic rate, to try and burn the excess sugar, as well as increase the process of Glycogenesis. This is the name for adding glucose molecules together, to create glycogen stores, in your liver and muscles.

During your sleep, your body is actually very active under the surface, and requires a great deal of energy compared to what you might expect. This is why generally you more than often wake up very hungry.

If you do not eat before going to sleep, your pancreas will begin to release a chemical known as Glucagon. This is the complete opposite of Insulin. It causes metabolism to slow down, you to feel more drowsy, and to increase Glycogenolysis, the breakdown of glycogen stores into glucose. This means that during your sleep, your body will use stores of fat and glycogen to fuel its sleep processes. This will cause you to wake up with low glycogen stores, as they have been depleted over the night.

The purpose of eating lots before bed, means that you have a sugar spike at the early stages of sleep, this means your blood sugar will remain high throughout the sleep, and you will wake up with even more glycogen stores than you went to sleep with as your body stores the excess of glucose. This is good because not only will you feel like you have had a great night sleep, but you will have lots of energy for the day ahead.

It is important however, to eat a mix of low GI and high GI foods before sleep. You want immediate sugars available, but you also need slower released sugars for later on during your sleep.

Also remember, you cannot eat/drink too much before bed, otherwise you might not be able to sleep.

Also Cheese can give you nightmares.

desire10
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Great! This helps heaps man, cheers.
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klc123
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You're more than welcome :)

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